North Carolina Newspapers

UNC groups offer elderly Valentine s Day cheer
On Saturday, Franklin Street
was abuzz with couples going out
for a night on the town to celebrate
Valentine’s Day.
But a host of students also turned
to another arena, local retirement
communities, to display Valentine’s
Day cheer through A Helping
Hand’s third annual Valentine’s Day
“Delivery and Serenade.”
“We do a lot of paid gigs, but this
is the kind of stuff that really
makes it worth it, to see the expres
sions on (residents’) face, bright
ening their day,” said junior David
Bankert of the Clef Hangers, one of
three vocal groups that performed
at Carol Woods Retirement
Community, an assisted-living cen
ter in Chapel Hill.
At least 10 UNC student groups
including UNC Club Field Hockey,
Alpha Chi Omega sorority and
Carolina Cancer Focus took part in
the community service project
Even the Blue Devils played a
part in the festivities. The Duke
University Chorale launched the
morning with a rendition of
“Danny Boy” and thanked the
audience for a warm reception.
Carol Woods resident Greely
Summers summed up the tone of
the event after he was serenaded
by a few members of the Loreleis.
“That was wonderful,” Summers
Judge to rule on APS defamation suit
A hearing today could decide if
allegations made by the Animal
Protection Society of Chapel Hill
against critics Elliot Cramer and
Judith Reitman will be thrown out
The hearing will take place at 2
p.m. in the Battle Courtroom of the
Orange County Courthouse in
APS, the nonprofit entity that
runs the Orange County Animal
Shelter, made the counter claims in
question accusing Cramer and
Reitman of defamation after the
two filed several lawsuits against
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said. “Everyone was right on tune.”
The Delivery and Serenade was
the symbolic kick-off of a concerted
effort to deliver valentines and roses
to more than 1,000 senior citizens
in three counties. U.S. Rep. David
Price, D-N.C., served as master of
ceremonies for the event
“This is a good example of our
community and country at its
best,” Price said. “(A Helping Hand
fills) a real gap in terms of the kind
of practical help that people need.”
A nonprofit organization based
in Chapel Hill, A Helping Hand
provides home assistance and
transportation for senior citizens
and people with disabilities. On a
weekly basis, the organization
employs 20 paid companions who
work with senior citizens and 40
volunteers who participate in the
group’s Faith in Action program.
Launched in 2000, Faith in
Action offers housework or yard
services to senior citizens and free
weekly assistance to relieve family
members or unrelated caregivers
who provide aid to the elderly.
Wesley H. Wallace, a Carol
Woods resident and former UNC
professor who spent 28 years in the
Department of Radio, Television
and Motion Pictures, pointed out
the many merits of A Helping
Hand’s services. “It is wonderful,
because it’s the kind of help that
you are rarely able to find,” he said.
Cramer and Reitman, both for
mer APS members, accused the
private organization of inaccurate
accounting practices, mismanage
ment of the animal shelter and
unlawfully changing rules by taking
away voting rights from members.
Those charges have not had
hearings, said Attorney Barry
Nakell, who is representing
Cramer and Reitman.
While Cramer said he could not
comment on today’s hearing, Nakell
said he and APS attorney, Ron
Merritt, will be presenting their
sides regarding APS’s counter
Cathy Ahrendsen, founder and
executive director of A Helping
Hand, works closely with the
APPLES Service-Learning
Program and noted the dividends
that working with A Helping Hand
can provide students pursuing a
variety of careers.
One such student involved with
the program is senior Amy
Mansky, a journalism major con
centrating in public relations and
acting as communications director
for the organization. Mansky said
her time with A Helping Hand has
been an asset in pursuing her
prospective career.
“I get a lot of experience in the
technical aspects of journalism,
putting out publications and
brochures,” she said.
Ahrendsen highlighted the inte
gral r<|le UNC students play in the
organization. “Carolina students
have always been the foundation of
our program,” Ahrendsen said.
“They are the most wonderful
companions who bring enthusi
asm, great innovation and just
enrich our program.”
For more information on A
Helping Hand, visit the Web site at, e-mail or call 969-
Contact the Features Editor
claims to the judge and observers.
Merritt said he would not com
ment on any ongoing litigation,
and APS Interim Director Suzy
Cooke said she was not aware of
the hearing. Nakell said he will be
defending Cramer and Reitman’s
statements with rights fisted in the
First Amendment.
“Basically, we’re saying every
thing Jude and Elliot said was pro
tected by free speech,” Nakell said.
He said Cramer and Reitman
have presented true statements that
have no basis for counter claims.
If the APS counter claims are
thrown out, they will not be a part
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The Politics of Water
Management in Israel-Palestine
presented by Professor Eran Feitelson, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
and Professor Marwan Haddad, al-Najah University, Nablus
Monday, February 16
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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seminal research on water management issues in Israel-Palestine.
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Freshman Cassie Criswell, a member of the Loreleis, delivers Valentines to senior citizens at Carol Woods
Retirement Community on Saturday as part of A Helping Hand's third annual "Delivery and Serenade" event.
of the April 5 trial, at which the
original charges against APS will
be heard.
Asa result of the suits, the
Orange County Board of
Commissioners granted APS per
mission to run the shelter until July
1, when the county will take over.
The outcome of the April 5 trial will
decide whether APS will have a role
in the shelter’s future operation.
A task force created to review
the management of the shelter will
meet for the third time Feb. 25.
Contact the City Editor
Hospitalized vets
get special salute
Sophomore Ben Elliot and sen
ior Megg Connelly handed a
Valentine’s Day card, made by a
local elementary school student, to
a veteran sitting on his hospital
The man, whose left leg was
amputated, smiled at the two
cadets from the UNC Air Force
Reserve Officer Training Corps
and gestured to the pile of cards he
had received already. But the
cadets insisted, and the veteran
“I just wish I had one to give
you,” he said.
On Friday, UNC Air Force
ROTC Cadets Elliot, Connelly and
senior Lindsay Clark, along with
Maj. Anthony Hensley, visited the
Durham Veteran Affairs Medical
Center as part of the National
Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, a
national program that uses the
week of Valentine’s Day to visit and
to raise awareness about hospital
ized veterans.
“The veterans love it,” said Sara
Haigh, staff assistant to the hospi
tal director.
“This is a good experience,”
Elliot said. “You get to see a lot of
people you wouldn’t get to see nor
Most of the veterans served dur
ing World War II and the Vietnam
War, Elliot said.
Veteran couple Amy Montana
and Paul Jurden of Rougemont
were especially glad to talk to the
“See, I outrank him,” Montana
said as she joked about her hus
band. “It makes our marriage eas
She was a nurse in the Air Force
with a rank of first lieutenant.
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it i —nrrmn i iniw i nw_i m—lj
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Jurden was a paratrooper in the
special forces with a rank of ser
geant. The couple was glad to
share a few war stories with the
Ashley Puleo, Miss North
Carolina USA and a first-year den
tal student at UNC, also handed
out valentines to the veterans.
“We’re visiting with all the veter
ans,” she said. “I think they enjoy
anyone coming.”
U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C.,
also visited patients in the external
care and rehabilitation center.
Haigh said Price visits the med
ical center every yeaT and is a loyal
“The veterans really enjoy
speaking to him,” she said. “They
recognize him.”
Representatives for U.S. Sen.
Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and U.S.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., also
attended th event, along with Air
Force members from Seymour
Johnson Air Force Base as well as
students from other university
ROTCs from around the Triangle
“It’s interesting to me to see
young airmen with these old veter
ans,” Haigh said. “And it’s a little
sad to think that this could be in
their future 50 to 60 years down
the road.”
But the cadets look forward to
their careers.
“I hope to serve my country
someday,” Elliot said.
Clark, who said she commis
sions in May and then goes to her
station in July, also said she
enjoyed sharing Valentine’s Day
with the veterans. “It’s nice to pay
Contact the Features Editor

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